Since this article is meant for beginners, let’s start with the most paramount tools.
The toolbox is generally located on the left side of the window. In case it is not visible in this location, simply follow this step.
Go to: Menu Bar > Window > Tools
Now that we know where the tools are organized, let’s dig into the application of each tool the toolbox has to offer. This is really just a basic guide of the toolbox, as we’d be crazy to go into detail for each and every tool Photoshop has to offer in a single lesson. We’ll go over how to use many of these tools in details later.
The Marquee tools are used for making a selection. Various selections can be made for e.g. if you wish to separate something from its background, replace a sky or simply apply the edits to a certain part of a frame and not the other. Even though there can be other selection tools available, detailed application of this tool will be explained in further tutorials. It consists of 4 tools:The Rectangular Marquee Tool, Elliptical Marquee, Single Row Marquee and the Single Column Tool.
The Lasso Tool is used for easy selection of irregular shapes and there are three types of it.
Lasso tool – In this mode of lasso tool, you can select any irregular shape by outlining the shape with your mouse.
Polygonal Lasso tool – When selecting a polygonal shape use this tool. In this tool the selection can be made selecting the vertices one by one.
Magnetic Lasso – This is one of my favorite tool for quick and easy selection. Just start by clicking anywhere near the desired object and hover the mouse around it. It will automatically stick to the edge of the object to make a clean selection.
But, its not perfect. The tool might not be able differentiate between the colors and often gives an irregular selection. Fastest but not cleanest.
Magic Wand Tool can be used to select an area of similar colors in a single click while the Quick Selection Tool does the same but not in a single go. You can select the similar colors of a particular area of your choice. Another quick and easy tool but not too clean either.
Crop Tool allows you to redefine the active image area but not resize the entire image.
Perspective crop tool however allows you to straighten an object that’s not in a plane. For example a picture of a document not taken at a perfectly plane angle.
Move Tool : All left in this category now is the Move Tool. This tool allows you to move around your selection.
Who doesn’t want to remove imperfections from face or body! Well Adobe Photoshop offers plenty of healing tools which can be used to remove imperfections, handle blemishes and red-eye:
Spot healing brush : It is the default healing tool in Photoshop. This tool can be used to duplicate the areas from an image and blend the selected area from the sampled area seamlessly with the target area saving a hell lot of imperfection removal post editing. This tool works on the principle of pattern cloning where texture from the sample area is blended with the color and luminosity surrounding wherever you paint.
Healing Brush : This tool is one of the smartest tool from Photoshop allowing you to fix image imperfections such as dust particles, scratches, blemishes, etc. very quickly and smoothly. By sampling the surrounding pattern the tool helps to blend the imperfections into the rest of the image making it more soothing to the eyes. This is one of the key tool for fashion photographers where imperfections have no place.
The red-eye tool : As the name signifies, this tool helps in removing red eyes with just a click of a button. Just select the tool and apply where required.
Clone Stamp Tool : Has someone photobombed your favorite picture? Or Perhaps you wish to remove somethings from your picture to make it perfect! With this tool, you can select a source starting point somewhere on an image, and then paint elsewhere using that starting point as a reference, enabling you to easily cloning the selected area with the reference point and making it really painless to omit someone out of picture.
Eraser Tool : It can be used to erase parts of an image, selection, or layer. Another tool that in handy with this tool is Ctrl + Z! Be careful, there’s a limit to that’s too. So save your work regularly.
Blur Too , Sharpen Tool & Smudge Tool : They all do exactly what their name suggests. They can sharpen, blur or smudge any part of an image, selection or a layer.
Dodge Tool is used to lighten parts of an image and the Burn Tool to darken. The Sponge Tool can saturate, or desaturate parts of an image.
Well, who are not familiar with these tools? They are very similar to what we used in Paint. But there are much more options to work with in Photoshop, to which we’ll come back later.
The Brush and Pencil tools can be used to draw and paint any sort off graphic. It’s highly customizable and has near to unlimited options
The Fill Tools come in handy when filling entire layers or selections with a solid color. To fill a similar area with gradient we use the Gradient tool .
When it comes to making selections in Photoshop, there’s really two types of people – those who know how to use the Pen Tool , and those who struggle. Undoubtedly the pen tool is the best tool for selection and for creating the most complex shapes of any sort. Well, being said it is also one of the hardest tool to master. This being just a start for you, we will have the detailed conversation on this later.
Custom Shapes are vector objects that can be created from an array of given shapes or even user created shapes.
So, this was the basic tutorial for getting things started with adobe Photoshop. Keep visiting for the next articles yet to come.